Competitors traversed 798km to Arequipa for Stage 3 of the 2019 Dakar Rally, which included a 331mm timed special. With heavy fog and a mix of extreme terrain amping up the challenge, the stage saw a number of leaders encounter navigation issues and even crash out of the Dakar – including early leader Joan Barreda Bort, whose Honda ended up stuck in a ditch.
It was a day of mixed fortunes for Hero MotoCorp. Oriol Mena continued to gain ground in the overall standings – an impressive 8th place stage finish propelling him up to 12th in the general classifications.
However, Hero MotoCorp’s other two riders, CS Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues ran into a number of problems. Rodrigues lost a chunk of time after losing his way in the beginning and later encountered a poorly marked waypoint that made him lose even more time. A 46th place stage finish now leaves him 31st in the overall standings. CS Santosh slipped to 42nd in the overall rankings after being caught out by the same waypoint and losing crucial time.
”It was an extremely difficult stage that came with its fair share of challenges. I had the wrong lens on for today’s stage and it set me up for the struggle for most of the first part,” said CS Santosh, who ended up completing the stage in 64th place.
Sherco TVS had an impressive run with three of its riders – Lorenzo Santolino, Michael Metge and Adrien Metge – finishing the stage in the top 20. Santolino bagged the 11th fastest time and is now just behind Mena in the overall rankings.
Michael Metge made a massive leap in the overall standings (from 62nd to 28th) after putting up what was his best performance of the 2019 Dakar so far, and completing Stage 3 in 13th place. His brother Adrien Metge lost some time due to navigation issues and finished the stage in 18th place, moving him to 15th in the overall rankings.
Aravind KP holds on to 61st in the general classifications after completing Stage 3 in 81st place.
Overall standings after Stage 3
13. Lorenzo Santolino
15. Adrien Metge
28. Michael Metge
61. Aravind KP
12. Oriol Mena
31. Joaquim Rodrigues
42. CS Santosh
1. Pablo Quintanilla
2. Kevin Benavides
3. Sam Sunderland